TORONTO: Cooperation within the transportation sector, as well as Canada’s international cooperation, is vital to ensuring the flow of goods through the supply chain, Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Communities Chuck Strahl told the Toronto Board of Trade.
During his March 16 speech to the board, Strahl said the government had launched negotiations on trade agreements with India and the EU, and had also signed air agreements with several countries.
“Supply chains are increasingly complex, stretching across continents and oceans,” Strahl said. “We want to capitalize on the opportunities offered by globalization, and the best way is through an integrated and seamless transportation system.”
All transportation modes must work together for the system to function properly, he said, adding an integrated system allows traffic to be optimized among different modes. For example, the option of moving freight by rail or on the Great Lakes and St Lawrence Seaway reduces congestion for trucks and commuters on highways such as the 401.
Congestion in urban areas interferes with supply chains and increases costs to businesses, Stahl conceded. As well, the government remains committed to building a new crossing and dedicated expressway linking the crossing directly to the 401. The government continues to urge the Michigan Legislature to authorize the project.
“More than one quarter of the two-way surface trade between the United States and Canada crosses the border at Windsor-Detroit,” Strahl noted. “This isn’t just an important topic in Ontario—access to this crossing is a priority right back to Montreal and beyond.”
Strahl also said the government had partnered with Ontario to build the Windsor-Essex Parkway, a dedicated expressway connecting the 401 to the new crossing.